I read a good deal of YA and more and more I have become numb to the themes of disaster, betrayal, annihilation, and sex that shape many of the stories. I’m not complaining, many of them are great reads but these next few books in the MG sphere delight in their simplicity and, if it doesn’t send you running, innocence. These are books where you are in it for the characters and the atmosphere, not the sitting on the edge of your seat quality.
The Penderwicks’s series is time less and has the quiet quality of the Little House series while being entirely contemporary. What I love, however, is the fact that the story could take place almost any time. When we started the series, years ago, I thought they were classics maybe from the 50s. I love that there is little to gives away when it takes place because and it doesn’t matter because you are drawn into the small movements of a charming family.
It’s best for lower MG readers, though admittedly, we listened to most of them on audio so I’m not absolutely sure of the reading difficulty. An 8-9 year old will fall in love and follow the Penderwicks right through to college… I kinda wish I was a Penderwick; you will too.